By RazorFinger


2019-02-05 23:58:34 8 Comments

This is something I have been discussing with my team as to how we should approach it on our project.

The question is, what is better practice, make your model already with different Levels of detail, importing everything in one go, or importing the base model on the game and only then making LODs for it later?

2 comments

@Philipp 2019-02-06 15:36:18

Different LOD levels are only useful for your game when two conditions are true:

  1. You show the objects from many different distances, so the different LOD levels will actually be used in practice.
  2. You have so many objects on the screen at once that the rendering performance becomes too bad for your target platform if all models are maximum-detail.

Unless you know that these will be the case, then starting out with creating several LODs for each model might turn out to be premature optimization. When your game isn't actually that graphically ambitious, then you might discover that your game still runs at steady 120FPS even when you use the maximum detail models. Then all the time your 3d artists spent on creating and updating simplified versions will be time wasted they could have spent on improving the high detail models or creating more content.

However, in one game I made the low-LOD models were a by-product of my workflow. I wanted a playable prototype ASAP, so I created very simple, untextured models of the most important entities. When I then started to polish the game, I created high-detail versions of these models, but I kept the initial low-detail prototypes around as low-LOD models.

@TomTsagk 2019-02-06 15:11:31

Depends on the game I'd say. If you make something like Spyro, where objects can come close to the screen or far away quite quickly, then you'd want to have them all loaded at the same time. The whole point of LODs is to make the game run faster, so wasting CPU to load new LODs defeats the purpose.

However, if the purpose is something like a character selection screen, I've seen games, where all characters are in low quality, and once you click one of them, it starts loading an HD version, which doesn't sound unreasonable. Dead or Alive does something similar, but it has a 2D image, and loads the 3D model when you select the character. It's not unreasonable to do the same with different LODs on 3D.

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